Federal, state, local partners to hold 'major radiological incident' exercise in Austin May 16-20

More than 30 local, state, and federal agencies will hold a major radiological incident exercise in Austin next week.

The Cobalt Magnet 22 exercise, led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration in partnership with the Austin Homeland Security and Emergency Management Office (HSEM), brings numerous agencies together to ensure preparedness against radiological threats and is the culmination of 18 months of planning.

Taking place at various locations around the city May 16-20, the exercise will simulate a radiological attack, enabling response personnel to practice protecting public health and safety, providing emergency relief to affected populations, and restoring essential services, says the city.

During the week, the public may see field teams in protective clothing using radiological monitoring and detection equipment, low-flying aircraft conducting data-gathering overflights, and groups of first responders and others staged at various locations, says the city. 

The exercise is part of a regular program of training, exercises and planning by which NNSA and federal, state and local partners prepare to protect public health and safety.